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Hundreds mourn for Palestinian killed during Gaza demo

Dec. 12, 2015 6:26 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2016 3:00 P.M.)
A Palestinian protester is evacuated by comrades after being injured by a tear gas canister during clashes with Israeli security forces near the Nahal Oz border crossing with Israel on Oct.10, 2015. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip marched Saturday in the funeral of a Palestinian man slain during clashes with Israeli forces.

Locals told Ma’an that a military funeral set off from the home of 41-year-old Sami Shawqi Madhi towards the al-Shuhada cemetery in Deir al-Balah, where mourners lay Mahdi's body to rest.

Madhi, a leader of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was shot by Israeli forces in the chest and died instantly when clashes broke out Friday near al-Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Fifty-eight other Palestinians were injured by live fire during clashes across the Gaza Strip the same day.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an at the time that after calling on “rioters” to halt, Israeli forces opened fire “in order to stop the threat of infiltration” when “rioters breached the buffer zone and attempted to damage the security fence.”

He was the third Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces that day. Uday Irsheid, 24, was shot and killed during clashes in Hebron, hours after Israeli forces shot Omar al-Hroub, 55, when Israel’s army said he attempted a car-ramming attack.

Madhi is one of at least 19 Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 1. The majority were killed during demonstrations, and two -- a 2-year-old and her pregnant mother -- were killed in an Israeli airstrike on their home.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem when unrest grew in the occupied area in October.

Use of force by the Israeli military during the demonstrations led the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights to condemn at the time Israel’s “excessive use of force, and violations of the right to life and security of the person."

Weekly demonstrations have continued into December, and Gazan demonstrators were among over 11,000 Palestinians to be injured by Israeli forces during the two months prior.
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